On November 1979, when 66 Americans were taken hostage in Iran, Jimmy Carter confronted a difficult decision. From the first days of the crisis he rejected all military options. He chose Secretary of State Cyrus Vance's plan to use diplomatic pressure and patient negotiation. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and others urged him to take tougher action.
Carter biographer Douglas Brinkley sees it as a moral issue for Carter. "You see the moralism of Carter, the Christianity affecting his foreign policy making... His belief in each human life having a great sanctity to it."
But it was more than a moral question. On the eve of a failed rescue mission, Carter told Vance, "my greatest fear all along is that this crisis could lead us into direct confrontation with the Soviets."
"It is hard to remember that it was the Cold War. The possibility of a superpower confrontation in and about Iran had always been there. And now, under these circumstances, it was much higher," Jody Powell says. Historian Roger Wilkins says, "it was the first time that the United States really was demonstrated to be vulnerable to the kinds of people that [Osama] bin Laden ultimately became."
Do you think Carter should have launched a military attack against Iran during the hostage crisis?
Yes (Blue): 45%
No (Pink): 54%
Total number of poll participants: 1919
Of the participants polled, 839 watched at least half of the film; of those, 332 said the film influenced their vote.
Joseph Goebbels, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany, was the mastermind behind Adolf Hitler's success.
From Joseph Smith's discovery of gold tablets to persecution, migration, and settlement in Utah, the film explores the history of the most American of religions.
During the 1960s the Ku Klux Klan would rise again in the most progressive southern state.
As a nation mourned the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, a manhunt closed in on the twenty-six-year-old actor, John Wilkes Booth.
Before he became the first U.S. president, service to the colonies would profoundly change George Washington.
The personal journey of three generations of a Japanese American family, including their stint in internment camps during World War II.
Engineer James Eads tamed the mighty Mississippi, turning New Orleans into the second largest port in the nation.
Lyndon Johnson pushed progressive programs before the Vietnam War eroded his support. Part of the award-winning Presidents Collection.